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Breastmilk & Formula

Breastfeeding in the US can be an emotional topic as the struggle continues.  Many new

mothers are told they are not producing enough milk or that formula is best.  Many moms are left depressed because their birth and feeding goals were not encouraged.  Below are some studies on the dangers of commercial formula, homemade formula, breastfeeding and formula ingredients and resources to help you achieve breastfeeding success. I hope after you read the information you can make informed decisions that help you feel empowered no matter your decision.


This article is in no way created so that you can feel bad about past choices or judged.  It is simply here to encourage and empower you in your journey through motherhood.  There are understandable reasons some women can not breastfeed and I am behind you 100% too. Articles like this one: 13 Reasons Not to Judge Formula Feeding Mothers, help breastfeeding mothers understand your struggle better too!

Commercial Formulas

The A few years back while searching for answers to my migraines, I came upon research on foods that contained the dirty chemical aspartame and MSG.  These two chemicals are laced throughout most of our packaged processed 'foods' sold today at your local grocery store as well as some formulas.  More than often, they are hidden under other names which are approved due to the very loose labeling laws.  Find out more on the dangers of MSG, aspartame and the crazy labeling laws here.

"Infant formulas have been found contaminated with all sorts of toxic chemicals. For example, the CDC found perchlorate, a chemical from rocket fuel, in 15 brands of infant formula, including two brands that accounted for 87 percent of the market share in 2000. The top offenders included Similar and Enfamil. Other contaminants discovered in some infant formulas include:

  • Melamine (linked to kidney failure)

  • Dioxin

  • BPA

  • AGEs (advanced glycoprotein end products)

  • Genetically engineered ingredients

Commercial formulas often also contain extremely high levels of fructose—little better than feeding your baby a can of soda! Soy formulas should be avoided altogether, as they can have devastating health effects. I would add that you must be careful about the water you use to make up any infant formula. Some drinking water has been found to have high manganese, and children exposed to high level of manganese performed worse on cognitive tests than children with lower exposures.  And the water you use should NOT be fluoridated.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as part of aspartame dangers are: 

  • Headaches

  • migraines

  • Dizziness

  • Seizures

  • Nausea

  • Numbness

  • Muscle spasms

  • Weight gain

  • Rashes

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Tachycardia

  • Insomnia

  • Vision problems

  • Hearing loss

  • Heart palpitations

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Anxiety attacks

  • Slurred speech

  • Loss of taste

  • Tinnitus

  • Vertigo

  • Memory loss

  • Joint pain 

The book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by James and Phyllis Balch lists aspartame under the category of "chemical poison."-Dr. Mercola

If you choose to go with a commercial brand please take the time to examine all the ingredients as your baby's virgin gut is still immature and susceptible to bacteria, pathogens and other gnarly stuff. 

Homemade Formula

There are several homemade formula recipes that mothers can make to support the life of their sweet newborn.  These include cow, goat, liver and whey.  The recipes found on Dr. Mercola's website can help you to navigate different recipes and their health benefits while avoiding the toxic stew that may be lurking in regular commercial brands.

Breastmilk and Formula Ingredients

Douglas College compared breast milk ingredients and formula, and the results are astonishing!  AS posted on BellyBelly's website, here is the list:

Formula Ingredients:




Corn maltodextrin


Partially hydrolyzed reduced minerals whey protein concentrate (from cow’s milk)


Palm olein

Soybean oil

Coconut oil

High oleic safflower oil (or sunflower oil)

M. alpina oil (Fungal DHA)

C.cohnii oil (Algal ARA)


Potassium citrate

Potassium phosphate

Calcium chloride

Tricalcium phosphate

Sodium citrate

Magnesium chloride

Ferrous sulphate

Zinc sulphate

Sodium chloride

Copper sulphate

Potassium iodide

Manganese sulphate

Sodium selenate


Sodium ascorbate


Choline bitartrate

Alpha-Tocopheryl acetate


Calcium pantothenate


Vitamin A acetate

Pyridoxine hydrochloride

Thiamine mononitrate

Folic acid



Vitamin D3

Vitamin B12



Amino acid


L-Carnitine (a combination of two different amino acids)


Cytidine 5-monophosphate

Disodium uridine 5-monophosphate

Adenosine 5-monophosphate

Disodium guanosine 5-monophosphate

Soy Lecithin (an emulsifier)

Breast Milk Ingredients:


Carbohydrates (energy source)

Lactose Oligosaccharides (see below)

Carboxylic acid

Alpha hydroxy acid

Lactic acid

Proteins (building muscles and bones)

Whey protein


HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells)


Many antimicrobial factors (see below)


Serum albumin

Non-protein nitrogens




Uric acid

Peptides (see below)

Amino Acids (the building blocks of proteins)




















Carnitine (amino acid compound necessary to make use of fatty acids as an energy source)

Nucleotides (chemical compounds that are the structural units of RNA and DNA)

5’-Adenosine monophosphate (5”-AMP)

3’:5’-Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (3’:5’-cyclic AMP)

5’-Cytidine monophosphate (5’-CMP)

Cytidine diphosphate choline (CDP choline)

Guanosine diphosphate (UDP)

Guanosine diphosphate – mannose

3’- Uridine monophosphate (3’-UMP)

5’-Uridine monophosphate (5’-UMP)

Uridine diphosphate (UDP)

Uridine diphosphate hexose (UDPH)

Uridine diphosphate-N-acetyl-hexosamine (UDPAH)

Uridine diphosphoglucuronic acid (UDPGA)

Several more novel nucleotides of the UDP type


  • Triglycerides

  • Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (important for brain development)

  • Arachidonic acid (AHA) (important for brain development)

  • Linoleic acid

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)

  • Conjugated linoleic acid (Rumenic acid)

Free Fatty Acids

Monounsaturated fatty acids

  • Oleic acid

  • Palmitoleic acid

  • Heptadecenoic acid

Saturated fatty acids

  • Stearic

  • Palmitic acid

  • Lauric acid

  • Myristic acid


  • Phosphatidylcholine

  • Phosphatidylethanolamine

  • Phosphatidylinositol

  • Lysophosphatidylcholine

  • Lysophosphatidylethanolamine

  • Plasmalogens


  • Sphingomyelin

  • Gangliosides

  • GM1

  • GM2

  • GM3

  • Glucosylceramide

  • Glycosphingolipids

  • Galactosylceramide

  • Lactosylceramide

  • Globotriaosylceramide (GB3)

  • Globoside (GB4)


  • Squalene

  • Lanosterol

  • Dimethylsterol

  • Methosterol

  • Lathosterol

  • Desmosterol

  • Triacylglycerol

  • Cholesterol

  • 7-dehydrocholesterol

  • Stigma-and campesterol

  • 7-ketocholesterol Sitosterol

  • β-lathosterol

  • Vitamin D metabolites

  • Steroid hormones


  • Vitamin A

  • Beta carotene

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B8 (Inositol)

  • Vitamin B12

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • a-Tocopherol

  • Vitamin K

  • Thiamine

  • Riboflavin

  • Niacin

  • Folic acid

  • Pantothenic acid

  • Biotin

  • Minerals

  • Calcium

  • Sodium

  • Potassium

  • Iron

  • Zinc

  • Chloride

  • Phosphorus

  • Magnesium

  • Copper

  • Manganese

  • Iodine

  • Selenium

  • Choline

  • Sulpher

  • Chromium

  • Cobalt

  • Fluorine

  • Nickel


Molybdenum (essential element in many enzymes)

Growth Factors (aid in the maturation of the intestinal lining)


  • interleukin-1β (IL-1β)

  • IL-2

  • IL-4

  • IL-6

  • IL-8

  • IL-10

  • Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF)

  • Macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF)

  • Platelet derived growth factors (PDGF)

  • Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)

  • Hepatocyte growth factor -α (HGF-α)

  • HGF-β

  • Tumor necrosis factor-α

  • Interferon-γ Epithelial growth factor (EGF)

  • Transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α)

  • TGF β1

  • TGF-β2 I

  • nsulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) (also known as somatomedin C)

  • Insulin-like growth factor- II

  • Nerve growth factor (NGF)

  • Erythropoietin

Peptides (combinations of amino acids)

  • HMGF I (Human growth factor)



  • Cholecystokinin (CCK)

  • β-endorphins

  • Parathyroid hormone (PTH)

  • Parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP)

  • β-defensin-1

  • Calcitonin

  • Gastrin

  • Motilin

  • Bombesin (gastric releasing peptide, also known as neuromedin B)

  • Neurotensin

  • Somatostatin

Hormones (chemical messengers that carry signals from one cell, or group of cells, to another via the blood)

  • Cortisol Triiodothyronine (T3)

  • Thyroxine (T4)

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) (also known as thyrotropin)

  • Thyroid releasing hormone (TRH)

  • Prolactin

  • Oxytocin

  • Insulin

  • Corticosterone

  • Thrombopoietin

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)

  • GRH

  • Leptin (aids in regulation of food intake)

  • Ghrelin (aids in regulation of food intake)

  • Adiponectin

  • Feedback inhibitor of lactation (FIL)

  • Eicosanoids

  • Prostaglandins (enzymatically derived from fatty acids)

  • PG-E1

  • PG-E2

  • PG-F2

  • Leukotrienes

  • Thromboxanes

  • Prostacyclins

Enzymes (catalysts that support chemical reactions in the body)

  • Amylase

  • Arysulfatase

  • Catalase

  • Histaminase

  • Lipase

  • Lysozyme

  • PAF-acetylhydrolase

  • Phosphatase

  • Xanthine oxidase

Antiproteases (thought to bind themselves to macromolecules such as enzymes and as a result prevent allergic and anaphylactic reactions)

  • a-1-antitrypsin

  • a-1-antichymotrypsin

Antimicrobial factors (used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects, such as bacteria and viruses)

  • Leukocytes (white blood cells)

  • Phagocytes

  • Basophils

  • Neutrophils

  • Eoisinophils

  • Macrophages

  • Lymphocytes B lymphocytes (also known as B cells)

  • T lymphocytes (also known as C cells)

  • sIgA (Secretory immunoglobulin A) (the most important antiinfective factor)

  • IgA2

  • IgG

  • IgD

  • IgM

  • IgE

  • Complement C1

  • Complement C2

  • Complement C3

  • Complement C4

  • Complement C5

  • Complement C6

  • Complement C7

  • Complement C8

  • Complement C9

  • Glycoproteins Mucins (attaches to bacteria and viruses to prevent them from clinging to mucousal tissues)

  • Lactadherin

  • Alpha-lactoglobulin

  • Alpha-2 macroglobulin

  • Lewis antigens

  • Ribonuclease

  • Haemagglutinin inhibitors

  • Bifidus Factor (increases growth of Lactobacillus bifidus – which is a good bacteria)

  • Lactoferrin (binds to iron which prevents harmful bacteria from using the iron to grow)

  • Lactoperoxidase

  • B12 binding protein (deprives microorganisms of vitamin B12)

  • Fibronectin (makes phagocytes more aggressive, minimizes inflammation, and repairs damage caused by inflammation)

  • Oligosaccharides (more than 200 different kinds!) 

Milk Communication

I am always marveled by the communication of breastmilk to an ever changing baby's needs.  It's seriously mind blowing!  The breastmilk a mother makes is carefully curated feed by feed from day one and is different for the premature baby tailored with various concentrations of fats, vitamins and a whole multitude of nourishing substances.  I encourage you to read the article Angela Garbes wrote title Breastmilk is Amazing!

Breastfeeding Support

I can still remember the first time my little one latched...  It was painful!  It was amazing!  It was beautiful!... and quite possibly the first time I cried with tears of happiness besides from God Himself. 

I am happily still on the journey.  I am still sharing this peaceful and sometimes trying bonding time with my little one until she feels it is time to wean.  Currently there is no plan to wean her.  With my ongoing research of the benefits, I am content where we stand.  Weaning is such a personal decision for each family and all their unique lifestyles.  It can be hard to bend at the pressure of family, friends and even media when you should wean but this sacred time is such a short period in the grand scheme of things.  Find people who encourage and support your decisions and keep trucking' mamas!  We are a tribe of women, a sisterhood, and you are not alone!

Having a caring, educated and supportive midwife helped us tremendously in many aspects of pregnancy and baby's first few weeks of life.  If you are looking for further support in breastfeeding with questions and concerns, take a look at the Le Leche League.  They have been around for years supporting, guiding and protecting mother's breastfeeding and formula feeding goals.

Empowered not Judged

One way we can all begin to feel empowered is by not taking the stance of being judged and researching for ourselves to gain knowledge.  I hope my writing never comes off as judgement because everyone must make their own personal decisions based on their own intuitions, knowledge and so on.  This article is simply to give you the reader more knowledge behind all the marketing hype on this amazing time of life as new parents/caregivers.  I hope we can all move past the he says, she says judgements and see whats more important in order to make our own well-thought out actions with scientific evidence and intuition to reassure our decision making.


Questions and Concerns

As always, I want to hear back from you!  You are the community that helps drive topics for me to share the information I have gathered throughout the years.  I love hearing your stories too! What have you learned in your journey in feeding as a mother?  What were your worries and how have you conquered them?  What were your first days with baby in feeding like?  What are your current qualms?

Thank you and enjoy your precious time with your littles!~ML


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